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Ramsey to Rangers

Ramsey to Rangers

Wales international Aaron Ramsey has signed for Rangers. But are their fans right to be excited about his arrival when he was plagued by injuries at Juventus?


Transcript

Hi, I’m Chloe and this is the Playmaker.

One story every day to make sense of the world of football.

Today, are Rangers fans right to be excited about signing Aaron Ramsey?

***

In 1957, Welshman John Charles moved to Juventus. 

He quickly became a hero in Turin. He was the Serie A top scorer in his first season, and helped Juventus win the league title. 

Il Gigante Buono – the Gentle Giant – as he was nicknamed, won three league titles in his five years with Juve and scored 108 goals in 155 matches.

So when Wales international Aaron Ramsey moved to Juventus from Arsenal in 2019, he had giant shoes to fill.

“He definitely took everything in and left his mark here so I know how much he means to this club and the history that he contributed so yeah, he’s a fantastic player and a person that I definitely look up to and hopefully look to emulate.”

Juventus

But Aaron Ramsey didn’t emulate John Charles. He played just over 1,000 minutes in both his first and second seasons in Turin. He scored six goals.

Over a 38 game season, that’s not even a third of the minutes available, because he’s had 12 separate injuries since he joined Juventus. 

Many of those are listed simply as “muscular problems.”

Aaron Ramsey’s problems have  led Juventus to allow him to leave on loan to Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. 

Juve are even paying the majority of his wages – reportedly to avoid an automatic one-year extension to his contract – that would’ve been triggered if he’d stayed.

For Rangers, this was great news. 

“I did hear someone say that they said is this the biggest signing since Gazza?”

“I don’t know…yeah, off the top of my head. It would have to be. I can’t remember the last time we signed somebody from Juventus! Do you know what I mean? Someone with that pedigree.”

Talksport

Considering Aaron Ramsey’s injury record, you have to  wonder if Ally McCoist’s excitement in that clip is misplaced.

***

One thing that may give Rangers fans some hope is Aaron Ramsey’s international record while he has been at Juventus. 

In fact, he has played more minutes for Wales this season than he has for his club. 

And at Euro 2020, he played 90 minutes in three of the four Wales games. 

The other game? He played 85 minutes.

Juventus supporters were frustrated. 

How could Aaron Ramsey stay fit for his country, but not his club?

***

The Guardian asked Aaron Ramsey about the discrepancy between his availability for his club versus  his country.

His reply?

He said with “the right management” he could “stay fit for a long period of time and play a lot of games.”

It could have been seen as a dig at the Juventus medical staff. 

Aaron Ramsey said that the Juve methods are different from the ones he’s used to at Wales.

To find out more, I spoke to Adam Digby, who covers Juventus for Forbes.

“It just didn’t work out for Ramsey at Juve, and it’s hard to know where the blame for that lies.

“He said what he said about the Juve medical staff compared to Wales, and it’s hard to know whether he meant they were just different, or he was saying one was better than the other.

“I think he just struggled to communicate really what his problems were and what he needed from Juve to help him get fit.”

Adam Digby

Sometimes, a move to a new club – especially when that club is based abroad – just doesn’t work out. It’s just one of those things. 

Is there some hope for Rangers fans?

“I think perhaps being back in Britain with Rangers will help him at least to get treated in the same way that he did with Wales, and then maybe you see the best of Ramsey.

“But I think his injury history shows that he can be healthy for a short period but over a longer time he’s just going to struggle to keep up with the demands of football.”

Adam Digby

We know that Aaron Ramsey’s injury problems didn’t start when he joined Juventus. 

He missed 48 games in his final three seasons with Arsenal. 

And now it’s Rangers’ turn to see if they can get the best out of Aaron Ramsey.

“Throughout my career, I’ve played many games and yeah, the last couple of seasons have been a bit difficult at times…there’s been a few hiccups but you know, that’s the past now and I’m only looking forward to this challenge and hopefully I can get back to match fitness as quickly as possible and show what I’m capable of doing again.”

Sky Sports

It seems that if Rangers fans can manage their expectations about the time he’ll spend on the pitch, his move could turn out to be a success.

Today’s story was written by Chloe Beresford, and produced by Nimo Omer.